Taiwan’s Manufacturing Sector Overtime Hours on the Rise: DGBAS

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Overtime work hours in Taiwan’s manufacturing sector have climbed in January 2024 for the seventh month in a row, suggesting a potential rebound in the industry, according to Officials from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS) on March 14, as reported by Focus Taiwan.


The average overtime work hours per employee in the manufacturing sector reached 15.3 hours in January, showing a year-on-year increase of 2.2 hours per capita. 


This rise follows a period of decline in overtime hours during the latter half of 2022 due to weakened global demand, with a gradual uptick observed since July 2023.


Despite the growth in overtime hours, there was a decrease of 1,000 employees in the manufacturing sector in January compared to December 2023. It was noted that the signs of recovery would have been more pronounced if there had been an increase in employment.


Additional Information:


  • Overtime work hours expanded in the electronic components industry for the seventh consecutive month to 23 hours per employee, representing a year-on-year increase of 4.8 hours per capita. However, similar to the overall trend, employment in the sector decreased by 1,000 from the previous month.
  • While the combined number of employees in the industrial and service sectors experienced year-on-year growth of 28,000, the industrial sector individually witnessed a decrease of 27,000 employees while the service sector individually saw an increase of 55,000 employees.
  • Notably, the accommodation and catering, as well as the retail industries, both saw rises of 12,000 employees each, highlighting the differing rates of recovery between the two sectors.
  • While the industrial sector is on an upward trajectory, it has not yet fully recovered, whereas the service sector is thriving, driven by post-COVID recovery efforts and increased consumption leading up to the Lunar New Year.
  • Average monthly wages, inclusive of bonuses and overtime pay, in both the industrial and service sectors fell by 18.54% year-on-year in January to NT$85,796 (US$2,721.6). Adjusted for inflation, wages experienced a marginal increase of 0.5% year-on-year, resulting in a real wage decrease of 19.98%.
  • Despite public worries regarding real wages, it was noted that the computation of wages and prices for January and February is intricate due to the Lunar New Year holiday, which occurred at different times last year and this year, affecting wage comparisons.
  • It is suggested that waiting for February’s figures and comparing the two months to gain a clearer understanding of wage trends.
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